Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) falsely claimed on Thursday that it was nearly impossible for someone to contract AIDS through heterosexual contact.
“Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community,” he told Michelangelo Signorile, who hosts a radio program on SiriusXM OutQ. “It was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”
“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.”
It is generally accepted that at some point HIV crossed species from chimps to humans, but there is no evidence that this was caused by bestiality. Rick Sowadsky of the Nevada State Health Division AIDS program noted in 1998 that it highly unlikely that HIV was transmitted through inter-species sexual contact, given the behavior of chimps and the differences between the sexual anatomy of humans and other primates.
According to the the Center for Disease Control, male-to-male sexual contact has been the most common way to transmit AIDS, followed by injection drug use and heterosexual sex.
Campfield briefly gained national attention in 2011 when he introduced legislation that critics derided as “the don’t say gay bill.”
“[Homosexuals] do not naturally reproduce,” he told Signorile. “It has not been proven that it is nature. It happens in nature, but so does beastiality. That does not make it right or something we should be teaching in school.”